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Ripping Movies from Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and DVD, Getting them onto Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, etc.

DVD to iPhone Apple TV and iPad - Ripping

For many years, I've been in search of the 'digital nirvana,' where all my videos, songs, and photos were accessible on any device, anywhere, at any time, without having to do a complicated digital dance with wires and different sychronization tools.

I am getting ever closer to the realization of that dream... today I will introduce you to a few tools I use to help me get all my videos (be they plain old DVDs or newer high definition Blu-Ray discs [edit: I found I can even rip HD-DVDs on my Mac too!]) converted and stored on my computer so I can play them on my computer, my iPhone, my iPad, my Apple TV, my Xbox 360, a Playstation 3, and do so from anywhere in the world.

There are a few key applications you need before you can do this on your own - I'll describe the programs you need for each step of the process, and how to do everything you need to do to get your videos digitized and readily accessible.

New Apple Store at the St. Louis Galleria

After having visited New York's four very large and unique Apple Stores, coming back and visiting the St. Louis Galleria Apple Store was somewhat of a letdown. The store has been reported to be the world's smallest mall Apple Store, and it was quite apparent upon entering.

The Galleria Store was known for being incredibly cramped, and one would often see many Apple employees training Mac users in the common areas around the Mall. One was lucky to be able to grab an Apple employee to simply make a quick purchase within 5 minutes of entering the store!

No more.

Apple Store Galleria - opening day

Now, the Apple Store inside the St. Louis Galleria is likely one of the largest, if not THE largest, Apple Stores in a mall, in the world.

Interestingly, the kiosk area outside the store (in front), which used to be a Starbucks kiosk (Starbucks has relocated across the atrium), is rumored to be a new area where people will be able to check in for Genius bar and training appointments, hang out, and use Apple's free WiFi. Right now, the area is simply empty.

Apple Store - former Starbuck's area

There used to be one table in the store, and now there are more than ten. There used to be only about 70% of the Apple consumer product lineup on display, but now every product is displayed prominently and abundantly.

Genius Bar in New Apple Store - Galleria St. Louis

The old Genius bar had maybe two or three chairs, and two stations for helping people; the new Genius bar has something like 20 or 25 chairs, about 10 or 15 Macs, and plenty of room for helping people!

I am so happy to finally have a respectable Apple Store very near the actual city of St. Louis (West County is far, far away)! It was also nice to receive a free apple T-shirt (grey, unlike the many black ones I have collected from other store openings and midnight events), and see over 200 other Mac fanatics up before 9 a.m. to see the new store. Here's yours truly, standing in front!

Jeff Geerling in front of Apple Store, Galleria, St. Louis

New Article/DIY Guide Posted: How to repair your Intel iMac

Over in the Articles section, I posted a detailed tutorial/guide on how to replace the hard drive inside a 24" Intel iMac with an aluminum enclosure (the process is similar on other aluminum iMacs). It's a rather intricate process, so in addition to a few illustrations, I posted a video of the process on YouTube (it's embedded in the article as well!).

Intel iMac Teardown and Hard Drive Replacement - DIY/Guide

Have fun repairing your iMac! (Please be sure to leave comments on the guide post, and not here).

Intel iMac Teardown and Hard Drive Replacement - DIY/How-to Guide

FSCK -y didn't help.
Yeah... that was a no-go.

My iMac's hard drive was recently borked (I was getting node errors and i/o errors when I ran fsck in single-user mode, and I couldn't format and reinstall OS X), so I had to replace it. Rather than spend a few hundred dollars to get the drive replaced, or using an external FireWire drive to boot the iMac, I decided to replace the drive with a larger/faster model myself.

iMac - Guts Exposed
The 24" iMac is large. VERY large. I can't imagine repairing the 27"!!

I used the instructions found on the Amfiteatar website to compile my more condensed instructions here. I won't go into any gory details of hard drive types, speeds, recommendations, etc. I'll simply inform you of my decision to use a 1 TB WD Caviar Black drive (7200 rpm, 32 MB cache). I don't need a ton of storage space on the internal drive, as I have multiple externals for different uses.

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Posts on Video and Audio Recording with iPhone and iPod Touch

If you've glanced over on my 'Articles' page lately, you'll no doubt notice my recent love affair (just kidding!) with the iPhone 4's audio and video recording capabilities. This blog post will offer a nice summary of all my blog posts and articles about A/V production on the iPhone (and, by extension, the new iPod Touch that was just announced today):

I hope to continue using my iPhone 4 to produce audio recordings for the LOLSaints.com Podcast, video recordings for my newest Catholic Car Wash podcast, and more!

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